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311Farmhouse with Restaurant

As a classic multipurpose building, the farmhouse is divided into a work zone and a dwelling part. The restaurant "Alter Bären" is located here.  

Icon Museumsplan Nr. 311 Bauernhaus mit Wirtsstube/Wirtshaus «Alter Bären» Rapperswil BE

Model House

The Bernese Midlands cover the broad area between the heights of the Jura and the pre-alps. Farmhouses like this one from Rapperswil (between Bienne and Berne) are common here. In contrast to the complicated half-timber houses of the Eastern Midlands these are simple structures. As a classic multipurpose building, the farmhouse from Rapperswil is divided into a work zone (threshing floor, stalls and barn) and a dwelling part (kitchen, parlour and chambers).

Farmer and Innkeeper

In 1837 Niklaus Marti was granted a permit to run a restaurant. In front of one side of the dwelling part he put up a cubical addition: the farmhouse thus took on a completely different appearance. His son ran the restaurant until 1853. The house remained under the ownership of the Marti family until 1911. When the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum took over the derelict building in 1974 there was not much evidence of the restaurant left. Yet the name survived: the pub, which must not be expected to be particularly large, was called the “Old Bear”, a classic name for inns in the Bernese region. Upon re-erection at Ballenberg in 1976, we furnished the house anew. It has since been serving as a restaurant once more, just as it did 200 years ago.


Roof Modes

The large tiled roof is somewhat lightened by the quarter hip on the gable side – called “Gerschild” in the local dialect. A yet smaller hip protects the end of the ridgepole and introduces a certain fashionable element of architectural je-ne-sais-quoi to the everyday landscape of roofs.


Swiss Open-Air Museum

Museumsstrasse 100

CH-3858 Hofstetten bei Brienz

Opening hours

6 April to 29 October 2023
10 am to 5 pm daily

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